Scientific Name Catalaphyllia jardinei Saville Kent 1893

Common Names: Elegance Coral, Elegant Coral, Elegans Coral, Wonder Coral, Comb Coral, Meat Coral

Catalaphyllia jardinei was named for Dr. Rene Catala, the curator of the aquarium at Noumea, New Caledonia, who displayed this coral under blue and ultraviolet light, showing off its spectacular fluorescent green tentacles with bright pink tips.

Colour: Several colour morphs exist, and there are also some differences in tentacle structure. The most typical morph is green with light pink tips on the tentacles, which are about 7.5 cm (3 in.) long and 0.6 cm (0.25 in.) in diameter. Other morphs have longer, "stringy" tentacles, or tentacles that bifurcate into many ends, the "split end" appearance affording a resemblance to Frogspawn Coral, Euphyllia divisa. There is even a "bubble tip'1 form which resembles the anemone, Entacmaea quadricolor. Other colour morphs include purple or blue tentacle tips, different striping patterns around the mouth, or solid brown forms, often with white or yellow tips. Other names have been given to the various forms of Catalaphyllia jardinei, such as Catalaphyllia plicata, or Euphylliapicteti. These invalid names are still in common usage. There is only one species, however (Veron, 1986).

Distinguishing Characteristics: Free-living coral with a cone-shaped base and flabello-meandroid skeleton formation. Large colonies have meandering walls and may be horseshoe-shaped or massive and branched like Euphyllia species. Tubular tentacles make this coral look like an anemone. Its ability to expand its tissue with water allows this species to live in muddy environments. By-inflating it's tissue, this coral can lift itself out from underneath accumulated sediments and prevent burial (Laboute, 1988).

Similar Species: Euphyllia species, especially Euphyllia glahrescens.

Natural Habitat: This extremely popular, hardy coral occupies a similar niche to Trachyphyllia. though it usually occurs in deeper water than that species. It is found in turbid water primarily. It maybe found in shallow grass flats, mud flats, or deeper sandy areas in lagoons or coastal reefs. It lives freely on the bottom, often with it's cone-shaped base stuck in the mud or sand, its tentacles giving the appearance of a large Condylactis sp. sea anemone. It is not usually as expanded in the wild as it is in our aquariums.

Nature Pattern Anemone

The typical appearance of a healthy Catalaphyllia jardinei. J.Sprung.

Some Catalaphyllia jardinei have tentacles with highly bifurcated tips that make them look like Euphyllia divisa. J. Sprung.

Some Catalaphyllia jardinei develop "bubble-tip" tentacles similar to the anemone, Entacmaea quadricolor. J. Sprung.

Catalaphyllia CoralBubble Tip Anemone StuckCatalaphyllia Brown Jelly Infection

The uncommon brown form of Catalaphyllia jardinei has colouring similar to Euphyllia glabrescens. J.C. Delbeek.

Catalaphytiia jardinei in turtle grass and Montipora digitata reef-flat zone, Palau, at 1.5 m (5 ft.) depth. M. Awai.

Bubble Tip Anemone Problems

Aquarium Care: Catalapbyllia is one of the hardiest species ant! one of the most beautiful. Like Euphyllia spp., it needs plenty of room. Allow a minimum of 15 cm (6 in.) around the skeleton for tissue expansion. Catalapbyllia does not like strong current, but does like flow sufficient to make the tentacles lightly sway, like a breeze over a wheat field. The most common problem with this species is separation of the tissue from the skeleton. This is prevented with 1) adequate calcium levels, 2) regular strontium additions, and 3) adequate light (see troubleshooting section, chapter 10, and reproduction information below). Catalapbyllia does well under all types of lighting, but has the best appearance under fluorescent lighting; the use of blue fluorescents brings out it's rich colours. The different colour morphs are all compatible, and may be placed next to each other.

Aquarium Reproduction: This species is a gonochoristic broadcast spawner (Richmond and Hunter, 1990). Emmens (1991) observed gamete release by an apparent male colony. Occasionally new polyps will bud off around the base, as in Euphyllia species. Another means of asexual reproduction may occur when a portion of the polyp becomes detached from the skeleton. This mode is similar to both polyp "bail-out" and polyp "ball" strategies. The detached tissue does not reattach to the base. A new skeleton forms inside it that causes it to hang down and pull away from the colony, eventually severing the loose connection with the tissue of the mother polyp. Small dark "balls" have been witnessed inside the tentacles ( J. Joos, pers, comm. and pers. obs. by the authors). It is unknown whether these are reproductive structures (i.e. eggs or planulae) or whether i hey are merely bundles of zooxanthellae accumulating like snowballs in the slight water currents within the tentacle.

Catalaphyllia Reproducing

Asexual reproduction in Catalaphyllia jardinei. A skeleton has formed inside a flap of tissue that had separated from the original skeleton. The weight of the growing skeleton causes the juvenile colony to drag down and separate from the parent. In this photo a scissors is used to artificially sever the attachment. A. Storace.

Stony Corals

The exposed skeleton after the juvenile coral has been separated. In a healthy coral, tissue and skeletal growth would fill in this gap within a few months. A. Storace.

Catalaphyllia Skeleton

The baby Catalaphyllia moments after separation from its parent. This asexual mode of reproduction produces small numbers of large offspring with high chance of survival, but low dispersal. Sexual reproduction produces many offspring, with high dispersal and low survival. Note that this specimen has developed several separate skeletons inside, like petals of a flower. These could further divide to produce separate corals. A. Storace.

Juvenile Torch Coral

Genus Euphyllia Dana, 1846

Scientific Name: Euphyllia ancora Vetoti and Pichon, 1980

Common Name: Hammer Coral, Anchor Coral, Sausage Coral

Colour: Euphyllia species have several different colour morphs. The colour palette includes brown, green, yellow, and gray, and there are numerous shades of these, and combinations of the colours. The tips of the tentacles are usually coloured differently from the rest of the polyp, but solid coloured specimens also occur.

Distinguishing Characteristics: Euphyllia ancora is one of the most beautiful corals. The anchor-shaped tips of the tentacles arc-characteristic. Colonies are phacelo-meanclroid.

Similar Species: At least three other species can have anchor shaped tips, E. cristata, and two species that seem intermediate between E. ancora and E. glabrescens on the basis of the skeleton. The name E. fimbriata is often used for specimens in which the anchors do not curl inwards, the tips of the tentacles being more "T" shaped. We do not know if E. fimbria I a is a valid name for another species, or an old name for E. ancora.

Natural Habitat: Hammer Coral grows attached to hardbottom in lagoon reefs, in turbid water. Colonies are massive, usually 0.6 m to 1.2 m (2 to 4 ft.) across, composed of meandering walls hat form dichotomous interlocking branches. Specimens collected for the aquarium trade with roughly 15 cm (6 in.) skeletons are usually

Beautiful Coral Detail

Euphyllia ancora, detail of the tentacles of this most beautiful coral. J. Sprung.

Three colour morphs of Euphyllia ancora. J.C. Delbeek.

Euphyllia AncoraCatalaphyllia Jardinei Skeleton

Unidentified Euphyllia sp. with thick phaceloid skeleton, 5 cm (2 in.) diameter corallites, septa not strongly exsert, and polyps like E. ancora. Another species(?) has the identical skeleton and polyps like E divisa. The whole colonies remain phaceloid, never taking tlabellomeandroid shape. J. Sprung.

Unidentified Euphyllia sp. This rare form has a thin phaceloid skeleton, 1.5 cm (0.6 in.) diameter corallites, septa not strongly exsert, and polyps like E ancora. J. Sprung

Catalaphyllia Jardinei Skeleton

40 f broken off of the main colony with a geological hammer, though sometimes whole, unbroken colonies are collected. Often, the larger colony is composed of growths no longer connected by tissue, as the upward growing polyps divide and shade the base so that the tissue recedes and branches separate. Sometimes pieces are just broken through the polyp tissue. The tissue damage does not harm the main colony, and if the collected specimen is properly handled, it too will heal rapidly. However, such specimens are more prone initially to fatal infections from bacteria and protozoans. It should be noted that the colonies collected for the aquarium trade represent only about one to two years growth. If the main colonies are only periodically harvested and not removed entirely, then the growths taken are renewable.

Aquarium Care: See description for entire genus following the species descriptions.

Scientific Name: EuphyIlia cristata Chevalier, 1971

Common Names: None, or same as E. divisci. Colour: Same as E. ancorci.

Distinguishing Characteristics: Colonies phaceloid. Corallum is compact. Large septa similar to those of Plerogyra sinuosa are visible when the living tissue is contracted. Tentacles are most like those of E. ancora, but most of the tips are more sausage-like, not curled. A distinct species has tentacles and appearance nearly identical to E. cristata, but the skeleton does not have large septa. It is phaceloid, with septa most like E. glabrescens, but the skeletons of whole colonies are much taller than that species. Still another "species" also has a phaceloid skeleton and a polyp indistinguishable from E. clivisa.

Scientific Name: Euphyllia divisa Veron and Pichon, 1980

Common Names: Frogs pawn Coral, Fine Grape Coral.

Colour: Usually brown with pale tipped tentacles. May be green with paler tentacle tips, brown with green tips, or yellow with pale tipped tentacles.

Distinguishing Characteristics: The mass of lighter coloured tentacle tips gives the impression of a spawn of frog eggs or tiny

Vendas Frogspawn Coral

A green colour morph of Euphyllia divisa. J. Sprung.

Euphyllia divisa. "Frog Spawn Coral" J.C. Delbeek.

grapes, hence the common names. Colonies are phacelo-meandroid. Veron (1986) describes the skeleton as identical to E. ancora. This is not often so. Usually the skeleton of E. divisa is about twice as broad as that of E. ancora, and more robust or denser. In addition, the septa are often larger, more exsert, and more widely spaced than in E. ancora. Still, the effects of environmental conditions can produce skeletal forms that are indistinguishable between these species, and there are undescribed species or hybrids that are intermediate in form, both in the skeleton and the live animal.

Coral Names And Pictures

Scientific Name: Euphyllia glabrescens (Chamisso and Eysenhardt, 1821)

Common Names: Torch Coral, Branch Coral.

Colour: Usually brown with white-tipped tentacles. Occasionally with green tentacles or with green tips.

Distinguishing Characteristics: Colonies phaceloid. Tubular tentacles like an anemone or like Catalaphylliajardinei.

Euphyllia glabrescens, "Torch Coral". J.C.Delbeek.

Euphyllia Fimbriata

Aquarium Care (genus Euphyllia^: Once established in the aquarium, all Euphyllia species are hardy. Euphyllia divisa, the Frogspawn Coral, is the hardiest while E. glabrescens is the most sensitive. The rest fall in-between these. All species require a lot of room for expansion. Allow at least 15 cm (6 in.) around the skeleton for expansion to avoid stinging neighboring corals. Sweeper tentacles are regularly formed by Euphyllia spp., and these may span 30 cm (1 ft.) or more in search of a targeted neighbor. Euphyllia should only be maintained in large aquaria unless one wishes to maintain only Euphyllia. In a small aquarium, less than 200 L (50 gal.), most Euphyllia species will grow too large within one year. In fact, it would be preferable if collectors would choose smaller specimens only. Euphyllia will capture food missed by the fish, but need not be fed directly. Slimy infections, which can rapidly consume tissue, should be treated immediately, according to the directions given in the troubleshooting section, chapter 10. Euphyllia can be maintained with almost no current, but they expand better when there is

sufficient current to slowly lift and play with the mass of tentacles. If the current is too strong they will not open up.

Most Eupbyllia species are compatible with each other, which means they can be placed adjacent to each other, allowing the expanded polyps and tentacles to mix. This creates a spectacular display. Eupbyllia glabrescens is the exception to the compatibility mle. It is not as compatible with other Eupbyllia species. It can touch them, but fares much better when it is not crowded by other species.

Aquarium Reproduction: Eupbyllia species often bud new colonies in the aquarium. Normally budding occurs around the base of the coral where tiny new polyps may project out (see chapter 3)- Technically this represents formation of new (phaceloid) branches, but these branches form in greater proliferation than can successfully survive in the given space, and as they grow, their skeleton, shaped like an ice-cream cone, is very thin at the point of attachment with the main colony. These cone-shaped polyps easily break off and may attach to live rock or live freely. The other form of budding involves the formation of septa unattached to the main colony. As these septa grow, they become heavy and slowly separate from the main colony, being pulled by gravity. As they fall they drag some tissue with them, which may form into a new polyp (see Trac hyp by Ilia and Catalapbyllia which have a similar means of budding). Eupbyllia have separate sexes and hobbyists have documented the release of both sperm and eggs into the water. However, there is at least one report of planula release in the wild (see Fadlallah, ¡ 983), and Veron (1986) states that some Eupbyllia from equatorial localities may be brooders. He witnessed small "balls'1 traveling up and down inside the tentacles (J. Veron, pers. comm.), and believes they were brooded larvae. His observation reminds us of the traveling balls seen inside the tentacles of Catalapbyllia, which may also be brooded larvae.

Scientific Name: Nemenzophyllia túrbida Hodgson and Ross, 1981

Common Names: Fox Coral, Ridge Coral

Why this coral is called Fox Coral is a complete mystery to us, but the name has been in use in the aquarium trade for years and apparently has stuck. This living coral is truly unique in appearance and biology. It greatly resembles corallimorpharian "mushroom anemones", Discosoma sp., except that it forms a

Nemenzophyllia túrbida, "Fox Coral". S.W. Michael.

skeleton. The scientific name and classification of this species may change (J. Veron, pers. comm.).

Colour: Usually pale green with cream-coloured stripes. Occasionally just pale brown.

Distinguishing Characteristics: Nemenzophyllia has a thin, approximately 0.6 cm (0.25 in.) wide skeleton with flabello-meandroid growth. The arrangement of septa gives the appearance of tiny boxes, and the walls are very fragile and paper thin. The sides of the wralls appear much like the sides of Plerogyra, to which it may be related (Veron, 1986). When the polyp is expanded it looks like a corallimorpharian. It has no tentacles at all, and a smooth surface. The mouths are numerous along the central portion of the meandering polyp. When fully expanded the polyp becomes ruffly, or "fluffy"' looking, and some areas may be so swollen that they appear almost like the inflated ribs on a beach raft. In this expanded state the relation to Plerogyra is evident, with a little imagination.

Natural Habitat: Unknown. Based on the appearance and structure, this species should be from areas with very little water movement. One can deduce from this that they may occur either in lagoons protected from heavy surge or tidal currents, or in deep wrater on outer reefs, likewise protected from strong water motion. Colonies probably grow as large stands, several feet across, and collectors break off branches.

Aquarium Care: Though it is hardy once established, we do not recommended this species for beginners, Most colonies are

Hardy Corals


damaged in collection or shipping, and they succumb easily to white paste or "brown jelly'' infections (see troubleshooting section, chapter 10, for details). Even healthy colonies take time to adapt, expanding only about 5 cm (2 in.) across initially. When ii is fully adapted to the aquarium, Nemenzopbyllia expands tremendously, the polyps being up to 10 cm (4 in.) broad, 5 cm in both directions from the central skeletal wall. It prefers the same light and conditions as Plerogyra and Cynarina i.e. little or no water motion, and bright, indirect light. It does not mind very bright light, which makes it expand even larger. Nemenzopbyllia does not produce sweeper tentacles, and does not appear to eat large prey. It subsists mostly on the nutrition provided by its zooxanthellae, and perhaps it may trap microscopic prey and bacteria in its mucus, transporting that to the mouth by ciliary action. It probably also consumes dissolved organic and inorganic substances from the water,

Most pieces appear to be broken off larger colonies. Under optimal conditions damaged colonies will heal and grow. Still, the best colonies have no breaks in the wall where there is living tissue, being severed lower down, or being the whole unbroken colony.

Aquarium Reproduction: Presently unknown for aquarium specimens. It is likely that new polyp buds arise around the base as in Heliofungia, Plerogyra, and Eupbyllia. If these appear, they can be clipped off and new colonies can thus be generated.

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  • gaspare
    Can frogspawn coral reatache after begining to seperate from skeleton?
    7 years ago
  • Charles
    Is there a difference between purple tip hammer coral and a blue tip hammer coral?
    7 years ago

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